The metaphysical conception misunderstands the source of motion and development, sees development as a simple increase or decrease in that which already exists, makes absolute the element of stability, and fails to understand the contradictory nature of motion and development and so on. The antithesis was shown between the dialectical and metaphysical conceptions. Two elementary thoughts of development (evolution) are: development as increase and decrease, and as repetition, and also development as unity of opposites. In the very first conception of self-movement, motion, its driving force, its motive, its source, remains in shade (or it can be presumed that this source comes from external-God). In the second conception the chief attention is directed precisely to knowledge of the source of self-movement. The first conception is lifeless, pale and dry. The second is living.
The metaphysical conception of development expounded by present-day bourgeois philosophy has a definite class purpose, seeking to emasculate the revolutionary content of dialectics, to present development in such a way as to discard or distort the idea of social progress, to show that the exploitive society is eternal and that class struggle is useless, and to disprove the doctrine of mankind’s inevitable transition to socialism and communism.
Materialist dialectics is essentially revolutionary. It teaches people to see all processes and phenomena of the surrounding world in motion and development. In its most profound and ample reflection of the actual processes going on in nature and the society, it is a powerful instrument for their scientific cognition and revolutionary transformation.
Any science or knowledge is not only the result of past cognition, but also an instrument for discovering new truths and attaining a fuller and deeper reflection of reality. This means that any human knowledge, if used for acquiring new knowledge, is a method for acquiring it. One could say in this sense that any general or particular theory is also a corresponding general or particular method of cognition and activity. The opposite is equally true; any method has a theoretical aspect and is of theoretical importance.